Capital Chicken: Ugandans Lose Billions in Nonexistent Poultry Scheme

Kampala, Uganda | THE BLACK EXAMINER | In yet another unfortunate incident, a fraudulent investment scheme has scammed Ugandans out of billions of shillings, preying on the aspirations of individuals seeking opportunities in the poultry business.

This scam, known as “Capital Chicken,” primarily targeted corporate entities looking to invest in the chicken industry without the direct responsibilities of poultry farming. The scheme presented itself as an agribusiness contract farming partnership enterprise, offering to rear poultry on behalf of investors who lacked the necessary skills, land access, capital, market stability, and time to engage in poultry farming.

Capital Chicken claimed to operate from its headquarters at Plot 74, Kanjokya Street in Kamwokya and another branch on Ben Kiwanuka Street in Nyumba Kubwa, both located in Kampala. To establish credibility, the company showcased photos of a purported chicken farm in Mukono.

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Investors were invited to contribute anywhere from one million shillings to an unlimited amount, either individually or as a group pooling resources. At the end of each month, investors were promised profits amounting to 15% of their total investment.

To gain the trust of its members, Capital Chicken had them sign binding contracts, with payouts scheduled at the end of a five-month contract period. Investors could choose to reinvest both the profit and the initial capital to generate additional returns.

For example, a ten million shilling investment would yield 1.5 million shillings in monthly earnings, accumulating to six million shillings over five months.

The company claimed to be registered and asserted that its members’ investments were insured. Furthermore, Capital Chicken unveiled plans to establish chicken retail shops across the country, encouraging investors to prepare to own these shops.

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Many victims initially had confidence in the company, believing it to be legitimate and having received payouts more than once. Capital Chicken also extended its reach to include savings and credit cooperatives (saccos), offering them a seemingly rapid avenue to profit while safeguarding their capital.

The scheme operated by reaching out to investors as their contracts neared expiration, asking whether they preferred reinvesting or withdrawing the capital and profits. Multiple payment options, including electronic fund transfers, mobile money, and cash, were presented to the investors.

However, in late 2023, red flags began to appear. The Capital Markets Authority issued a statement cautioning investors that Capital Chicken was not regulated by them, underscoring the potential risks of investing in unregulated ventures.

In response, Capital Chicken released a statement asserting its legitimacy and emphasizing the safety of investors’ capital. But by August, investors began reporting delays in receiving their interest payments after contract expiration. The company cited challenges with chicken suppliers as the reason for the delays.

As the situation escalated, the company abruptly closed its offices, leaving investors in shock. The CEO, along with some key staff, vanished with investors’ funds, and others went into hiding out of fear of retaliation.

It appears that even the employees of Capital Chicken were deceived by the scheme, as an administrator’s statement suggested. This unfortunate turn of events follows a disturbing pattern of investment scams in Uganda, including the BLQ sports betting scam, Telex Free, Adfast Inc, One Thor, Amazon Traders, and numerous Ponzi and pyramid schemes that have exploited unsuspecting individuals.

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